Underweight Pregnancy

Underweight Pregnancy

20 Nov 2018 | 3 min Read

Dr Sarika Tendulkar

Author | 2 Articles

Underweight pregnancy is a common problem in Indian women

Low weight of the mother during pregnancy can affect the health of both mother and baby. Being underweight during pregnancy can be commonly attributed to undernourishment and sometimes to severe nausea and vomiting during the first trimester of pregnancy.

How risky is underweight pregnancy?


Being underweight can be determined by a body mass index (BMI) calculator. Having a BMI less than 18.5 kg/m2 during pregnancy can put you in the group of women having an underweight pregnancy.


There are several underweight problems during pregnancy. The possible risks of being underweight during pregnancy are as below:

  • Preterm delivery
  • Less weight gain during pregnancy
  • Low weight of the baby at birth
  • Increased risk of illnesses in the mother and child
  • Increased risk of death in the mother and child

What can I do to gain weight during pregnancy and also increase the weight of fetus?

If you are underweight during pregnancy, the nutrients stored in the body are insufficient to provide nutrition to you and the fetus. This can be overcome by proper diet and exercise. Maintaining fiber level in mothers is equally important while choosing food items. You can seek advice from your gynecologist for a customized diet plan.

You may wonder how to increase baby weight in womb? A balanced diet containing adequate quantities of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats can help in maternal as well as fetal weight gain.

Which food items can help underweight women gain weight during pregnancy?

It is said that a pregnant woman should eat for two people, herself and the fetus. However, overeating can lead to excessive weight gain. Medical advice and change in dietary habits and lifestyle can help in healthy weight gain during pregnancy and thus reduce the risks associated with an underweight pregnancy. An adequate diet rich in vitamins and micronutrients can help an underweight pregnant mother and her baby gain weight. Let us have a quick overview of some baby weight gain food during pregnancy.


  • Fish and shellfish: Provide fatty acids and iodine
  • Milk and milk products: Provide calcium and proteins
  • Legumes and green leafy vegetables: Provide iron and micronutrients
  • Meat: Provides fats and proteins
  • Citrus fruits: Provide folic acid and vitamins.

Underweight pregnancy problems can range from preterm delivery to mortality of the mother and child; however,  this condition can be treated with sound medical advice, a balanced diet, and adequate exercise.


Also read: Overweight Pregnancy





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